One can almost always determine the setting of a historical movie, play, or performance by looking at the character’s costumes. I myself, being what we call a “fashionista,” am able to pick out the decade a movie is set in by the clothing, within the first few minutes of a movie.
Costume and props are one of the most interesting aspects of the whole theater business. Costumes today are hand made partially and ordered by the costume designer for a film. It is hard to imagine that such costumes were people’s everyday clothing, and sewn by hand, not on a sewing machine. It is amazing to see how far the human race has brought sewing with a bone needle and animal hair to super sized machines that can make fabric, clothing, and upholstery cushions in minutes. It’s good to see that the traditional home sewing is still alive.
A group of 4-H’ers met at the San Saba Homemaking Building Tuesday, June 2nd to participate in the 4-H Clothing Fun Day. This year’s project was constructing aprons. Some 4-H’ers had previous years’ experience under their belt while others had never even touched a sewing machine. So a cute simple apron pattern was a perfect project for the day’s ambitious sewers. Before the 4-H’ers began sewing, I gave them a presentation over the parts of a sewing machine. It would be difficult learning how to sew without knowing the common terms of the machine. Afterwards the 4-H’ers selected their material and was stationed at a sewing machine with an adult helper or other 4-H leader. As soon as the 4-H’ers had the chance to sit down at their machine they hastily started working away. That was everyone but the girl that I was helping. The sewing machine must have had known in advance that I in particular would be helping a newcomer to sew her apron and gave me a handful of technical difficulties to have sorted out by an adult leader. How convenient. It’s amazing how machines work like that. So after a late start my 4-H buddy and I started right away on our project.
In making the apron the sewers learned how to thread the machine, hem, go over what they had sewed to keep it in place (backstitching), press open hems, align fabric pieces, topstitch, and iron. I was very impressed with the wonderful results at the end of the day. We had some beautiful aprons that would inspire even the pickiest eaters to cook a feast of food just so they could use their apron. I did my first sewing camp when I was about 11. And after seeing the undivided attention the helpers gave the 4-H’ers, I knew they had all had a better learning experience than I did. A special thanks to those that made the experience a fun one. I hope to see them next year helping new sewers, and experienced ones gain more knowledge about the traditional hobby of sewing.